Flash photography for wedding receptions
Do you love photographing weddings, but when it comes to the reception, you just feel BLAH about your images? Does one of your goals for this year include FINALLY mastering flash photography?

I feel you!

At one point in time, early on in my journey, I hated my reception photos. Hated. them. I was determined to improve. I remember coming home after a wedding and procrastinating editing through my reception photos because I dreaded it so much. Now I love the challenge of making beautiful images like these with flash. And when the reception rolls around, I get a second wind and am excited that I'm able to capture the essence of the fun and celebration taking place. One of my favorite things is to create reception images that are similar in quality to the photos I've taken throughout the rest of a wedding day.
Flash photography for wedding receptions
Flash photography for wedding receptions
I'm a little different than some of the other photographers who teach on this topic. I'm not techie. And I'm not a gear head who has to buy all the newest equipment as soon as it comes out. I just want to make photos that I am proud of. So I've figured out the formula that works for me and allows me to do so.

I love shooting with off-camera flash (as the images in this post demonstrate), but before you master off-camera flash, you need to start with the basics and master on-camera flash.

So if I was starting out shooting receptions with just a simple on-camera flash set-up, these are the three pieces of gear I would purchase:

1 -- Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite. I own two of these, but you could start with one. They have radio transmission built right in, so when you ARE ready to take on the challenge of off-camera flash, they will communicate without the need for pocket wizards or any other gizmos attached. And they fire EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Seriously brilliant.

2 -- MagMod Bounce. This simple-to-attach flash modifier transforms the light coming out of your flash from a harsh spotlight, to a more diffused, softer light.

3 -- Battery Pack. This battery pack attaches to your flash and helps it to recycle faster. When you are trying to capture fleeting moments and fast movements at a reception, you need to be able to fire off a string of frames quickly and count on your flash to fire every time. This battery pack helps ensure that the perfect shot won't be black due to your flash not being ready to fire.
Flash photography for wedding receptions
Flash photography for wedding receptions
That's it! Those are the 3 pieces of flash gear I would purchase right off the bat in order to master flash photography at receptions.

Once you have those in your arsenal, here are the basics for how to get everything set up to create amazing reception images you will love:

1 -- Put your flash on top of your camera. Point it straight up.
2 -- Add the MagBounce diffuser to the top.
3 -- Hook the battery pack to your belt and plug it into your flash.
4 -- Turn everything on and put your flash on ETTL.
5 -- Take a photo in a low-light situation where your in-camera meter shows that according to your camera settings, you will be under-exposed. Notice that the flash puts out the amount of light it judges you need in order to correctly expose the scene.

That's it! The super-simple basics to shooting with flash for wedding receptions. There's definitely more to learn and discover as you continue on your journey of mastering flash, but I wanted to start you out with the basics to get you up and running quickly. We all have to start somewhere. And I promise -- you CAN do this!

If you found this post helpful, and are interested in learning more, click here to opt-in for my free video series -- 6 Hacks to Eliminate Boring Low-Light Photos and Get You Creating Reception Images you LOVE! In it I share my best 6 tips for shooting with flash. If you are intimidated by flash and wanting to conquer it once and for all this year, this is the perfect place to start!
learn flash for wedding receptions
3 pieces of gear you need to photograph wedding receptions
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